About this episode
This episode was first broadcast on April 30, 2005. It was written by Robert Shearman and directed by Joe Ahearne. The showrunner was Russell T Davies.
The last Time Lord and the last Dalek enter. Only one of them leaves.
Season one is my favourite of the three new Doctor Who seasons that we've had so far, and Dalek is my favourite season one episode.
That doesn't mean that the episode is flawless. To get my biggest gripes out of the way:
- Henry van Statten, owner of the museum where the action takes place, is a bit of a cartoon cliché.
- His assistant Adam Mitchell is a dweeb and taking him on as a companion is a bad idea, even if it is only for one episode.
But on to the good news:
- It's an excellent story with great performances from the Doctor, Rose and, surprisingly, the Dalek.
- And the most important part: unlike other great stories like 'The unquiet dead' or 'The empty child / The Doctor dances', this story could only ever work as a Doctor Who story. The Doctor's history with the Daleks that started back in 1963 with the second William Hartnell serial is an integral part of this episode, and yet the episode manages to take the 'the Doctor versus the Daleks' story line into an entirely new direction.
The bottom line